The start of the NFL free agency and the legal tampering period hasn’t exactly been ideal for the Dallas Cowboys. While it’s widely known that safety Earl Thomas is their top target, the contracts of a few other safeties have impacted the team’s chances of landing the former Seattle Seahawks star. The Cowboys aren’t looking to break the bank, especially with their own players still needing to be re-signed/receive extensions.
A few deals which specifically stand out and impact the situation with Thomas include Landon Collins, Tyrann Mathieu and Lamarcus Joyner. For starters, Collins agreed to a six-year deal worth $84 million with $45 million in guarantees with the Washington Redskins, per NFL Network’s Ian Rapoport.
That started the crazy stretch for free-agent safeties, as the Kansas City Chiefs then came to terms with Mathieu for $42 million over three years. Finally, ESPN’s Paul Gutierrez reported that the Oakland Raiders’ deal with Joyner is expected to be around roughly $10.5 million per year.
With the average annual salaries of those three ranging from $10.5 to $14 million, that’s bad news for the Cowboys.
Cowboys Hoping Earl Thomas Takes Less Than Joyner
NFL Network’s Jane Slater reported that Thomas is seeking $14 million per year, the same number Collins and Mathieu landed. She allso revealed the Cowboys want the ex-Seahawks star to bring his asking price down to somewhere between $8 to $10 million. Based on the way things are going, the likelihood of him landing in Dallas seems to be quickly trending in the wrong direction.
So, what’s next for the Cowboys if not Thomas?
In an interesting story from SB Nation’s Connor Livesay, he points to former Chicago Bears safety Adrian Amos as a potential fit. It makes sense, as the 25-year-old impressed over the past four seasons and has progressively improved his game in the process. Beyond that, he’ll likely come in around the price the Cowboys are looking to spend.
Replacing Cole Beasley for Cowboys
It seems unlikely that wide receiver Cole Beasley will return to Dallas, especially after rumblings that he’s looking for $20 million in guaranteed money. In turn, the Cowboys will almost certainly look elsewhere to fill that void. The question is, who can step in and help take over his spot while not breaking the bank?
Chris Hogan could be an interesting choice, especially coming off a year in which he disappointed a bit while seeing an expanded workload. Hogan was arguably the top option on the New England Patriots while Julian Edelman was suspended, but he still finished the season with a modest 35 catches for 532 yards and three scores. He’s not as talented as Beasley is, but he’d come at a lower price tag and can move the chains.
Another name who could be in consideration is former Redskins/Indianapolis Colts wideout Ryan Grant. After spending four years in Washington, Grant was with the Colts in 2018 but was behind T.Y. Hilton, Eric Ebron, Jack Doyle and Chester Rogers in the pecking order. The 28-year-old caught 35 passes for 334 yards with one touchdown and would be a cost-effective addition for the Cowboys.
If the Cowboys remain patient and wait out the situation with Donte Moncrief, he may come at a slight discount. While the 25-year-old signed a $9.6 million deal last year, he had a fine season (48 catches, 668 yards, three scores), but Dallas could land him at a slightly discounted price. It would likely be on a short-term deal, and he’s not the same type of slot wideout Beasley is, but he could take over a good chunk of the production.